We continue with Part 8 of the 16 part series Deja Vu: Vietnam. The series of videos is made using Google Earth to focus in on various parts of Saigon and surrounding areas of Vietnam. Then overlaid with video footage filmed in 2007 with ‘fade backs’ of videos and photos going back to various time points in prior years. Some all the way back to 1882 Saigon.
Now in Part 8 we’ll continue our visit around the central city area of Saigon visiting Ben Thanh Market (Grande Halle) 1910s, 1920s, 1988 and 2007; French Colonial Railway Office (Bureau du Chemin de Feu) 1910s and 1988; Le Loi Plaza (1969, 1988 and 2007); Givral Cafe (1988 and 2007); Hotel Continential (made famous in novel ‘The Ugly American’) 1910s, 1920s, 1964, 1970, 1973, 1988 (under renovation) and 2007. Then with each of the following parts of the series we’ll be travelling around the central city area of Saigon and Cholon. Then travel to areas outside of Saigon and back to Tan Son Nhut Airport for departure from Vietnam.
Each of us lived in Saigon at different times during the years from the mid-1950’s to 1975. Because of the span of time we lived in Saigon, different parts of the series will mean more to each of us … but, they will all trigger memories and experiences of your time in Saigon.
A Born To Wander Production
Wow! Now that brings back some memories!
Do you remember shopping at Ben Thanh Market? How many times did you get lost in the maze of vendors and passageways? What things do you recall buying there? What was your most vivid memory of your experiences there?
For those there in 1960, do you recall our shopping trip there to buy supplies and materials to decorate for our ACS dance? About 10 of us stuffed into the Haznam’s limo with the driver thinking we must be out of our minds, making him drive us all over Saigon and Cho Lon to buy things to decorate “The Hut” for our dance.
Do you remember the train station? Did you ever take the train out of Saigon to other places? If so, what do you recall about those trips and where did you go too?
Do you remember the Cigarette sidewalk vendors in front of Givral Cafe on the Le Loi side? We’d stop there to buy cigarettes because we could just have the taxi or cyclo pull over to the curb and wait while we called to the vendor to bring us a pack of cigarettes.
What do you remember most about eating at Givral’s?
How many French movies did you go to at the movie theater a couple doors up Tu Do from Givral’s? Do you recall what movies you saw there? Could you keep up with the English subtitles? Or, how about the few American movies dubbed in French then with English subtitles … lol. Those always puzzled me.
And, oh the memories of Hotel Continental’s open air cafe. How nice it was! Did you visit the cafe often? What are your best memories of it?
Speaking of places to eat in Saigon, how about these places … what do you remember about them?
Arc-en-Ciel, 56 Tan Da (Jaccareo), Cholon. Good Cantonese and French cooking; Mr Ting, mgr. speaks English; excellent catering service; a favorite with Americans. Private dining rooms available.
Aterbea, 84 Blvd Nguyen Hue (Charner). French spoken.
Bodega, 76 Le Thanh Ton (Le Loi). Good French-style cooking; also U.S. style snack-bar for ‘hamburgers’ , breakfast, etc.
Caruso, corner of Ton That Thiep (Ohier) and Vo di Nguy (Guynemer). Air conditioned; Italian specialities: minestrone – 30 piastres, scampi fritti – 50 piastres, filet de sole Florentine – 50 piastres.
Cheong Nam, 66 Hai Ba Trung (Paul Blanchy). Also known as Cheap Charlie’s; good Chinese fare, less expensive then Arc-en-Ciel; conveniently located near Brink BOQ.
Continental Hotel, Tu Do (Catinat). Dining room on sidewalk level; also sidewalk tables for a drink; special dinner parties can be arranged.
Evening in Bombay, 39 Tu Do (Catinat). Highly seasoned authentic dishes, good service.
Guillaume Tell, 34 Trinh Minh The (Jean Eudel). Across Arroyal Chinois; good Alsatian cooking, air conditioned; lunch or dinner, pleasant atmosphere. Chateaubriand – 95 piastres, trout – 130 piastres, filet de bar (bass) – 70 piastres. ( Owner known to drill hole in bottom of bottles of expensive wines, and refill them with plonk.)
L’Amiral, 29 Thai Lap Thanh (Amiral Dupre).
La Paix, 40 Le Loi (Bonard).
Le Relais, 4 Ho Huan Nghiep (Turc). Small, pleasant; 2 blocks from Majestic Hotel off Tu Do (Catinat).
Majestic Hotel, foot of Tu Do. Attractive river view from 5th floor dining room.
Paprika, Yen Do (Champagne). Spanish-style, cool terrace dining room, 5th floor up.
Pointe des Blagueurs, Ben Chuong Duong (Quai Belgique). For a drink overlooking the river.
Thu Duc, 10 km from Saigon on road to Bien Hoa. Known for there roast chicken.
Mayfair, Gia Long. Small; late evening steaks.
How many of these places to you recall? Which were your favorites?
Do you recall any other eating places in Saigon? If so, what are they? What kind of food did they serve?
As always please feel free to leave your Comments below and share the memories and experiences this area of Saigon brings back to you … about your time in Saigon.
Stay tuned for Part 9 in a few days … it only gets better 🙂
If you missed the previous parts of the series, you can view them here: